Wandering around mesh networks, IoT and defining a new category for IoT…

I have been thinking a lot about my categories of IoT and in particular the stayable format of IoT devices. Within that category I believe there are actually two sub categories. Stayable fixed and stayable flexible are the two categories.

Personal presence devices fit into both. Some (Jibo) are fixed. They don’t move. So in the end the connection is with a point in space. Others (Keecker) move and provide you with a connection to place. You can then move around within that space and interact. Keecker doesn’t have remote control out of the box but that is only a matter of time.

When you start considering sensors that can move within an assigned space and allow remote connections the world becomes interesting. Drones in effect are remotely operated sensors. Be it that the drone can be underwater, in the air or on the ground, it is a sensor. Intelligent sensors are even more interesting in this space.

I suspect if you think about the concept of mesh sensors that I talked about before. Interestingly there are a number of blogs and professional articles that talk about mesh networks are the winning play in the IoT space. My favorite is here. The concept of mesh allows us to have sensors that act intelligently without requiring other interaction. The mesh allows us to create a resilient sensor array. What is the first thing dramatized in a bank robbery, the spray paint the cameras. They are visible. Now with a mesh there wouldn’t just be visible cameras.

What is the value of both stayable flexible devices and mesh IoT? How do I derive something from this? Well the first one is easy. Creating a mesh sensor system for say river monitoring would be a valuable thing. A mesh sensor system for volcano’s and for fault lines as well. Much of that mesh already exists today. It isn’t anything new. The advantage of testing mesh solutions in those scenarios is that they can also save lives. Run the mesh side by side with the existing sensors until we are sure everything works.

In the end it comes back to my VR Mesh. Where sensors are used to create a VR mesh of any location. Of course the big brother version of that would be linking to every cellular phone in a space to create that mesh without anyone knowing it was happening. But that isn’t as easy as you would think. Mostly from the reality that most cellular phones are not carried with their cameras accessible/usable. They are in pockets, bags and ultimately cases. The value of VR Mesh when the sensors are deployed is incredible. Imagine seeing the entire network of an organization as a VR Mesh. The human eye is one of the best tracking system available. Creating a VR heat map of your companies network showing normal traffic as blue and abnormal traffic as red allows security professionals to quickly react to abnormality.

It is a very interesting discussion in the end. The scary thing is that for all the good this could do, it would only take one bad use to make it in the end bad.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow